Once in a while, it happens. You’re scrolling social media, a picture or a topline attracts your attention. You stop, you give the post another look, a bit more of your attention, and then your subconscious acts. You tap, and hopefully, the message is worth your time.
That was how I found Bluewood Brewing’s Crush at the beginning of the summer. The beer quickly became my “beer of summer,” and from what I’ve seen on social media and Untappd, I’m not alone in my instant love and respect for this beer.
I reached out the Cameron Lund, of Bluewood to learn more about this astonishing new brew.
Crush is actually a double entendre-like beer for Bluewood. The beer itself is a variation of their base Imperial New England IPA featuring both Amarillo and Citra hops, and originally it was brewed in tribute to Treehouse Brewing’s “Julius” and “Very Green,” one boasting citrus orange flavors and the other the raw, delicate-yet-deep hop complexities.
While you may think the name is associated with the Crush soda brand and crushable beers, it’s not. In fact, if you’ve caught on to the underlying theme around many of Bluewood’s beers, the names are nods to music and specific songs. That is where the name Crush comes from. Although, Lund would not specifically say, my money is on the Dave Matthews Band version.
“We believe that this beer is unique (at least amongst our lineup) due to its use of Norwegian yeasts provided to us by Omega Yeast that ferments at unusually high temperatures and tends to turn over our products incredibly quickly, which is absolutely crucial to a New England IPA,” said Lund. “Delicate hop aromas, flavors, and biotransformation characteristics are best enjoyed young and fresh, in which this fermentation methodology allows us to achieve much faster than typical Conan and ESB strains.
The most interesting part of this beer is that 100% of the dry-hopping is done during active fermentation.
What you’re going to get here is one of the finest St. Louis made NEIPA. It pours with an opaque lasting haze with a natural orange juice brightness. On the nose, you’ll get light citric acidity, orange zest, and melon fruits. On the tongue, you’ll get strong orange notes with light earthiness, and honeysuckle. It drinks light, but effervescent, with a slight silkiness.
And There’s Pineapple Too
And Crush already has its first variant. Pineapple Crush debuted in late May and quickly became a staple along with it’s cousin in my fridge. I find the balance of both these beers to be what makes them stand out. Balance is important to me both in how a beer is brewed but as well as how the brewery looks at brewing.
Pineapple is definitely a flavor that’s become popular. In fact, fruits and adjuncts are getting to be crazy-popular. But don’t expect Bluewood to be dropping pineapple chunks with diced ham, sea salt, and lactose into a tank and make a Hawaiian pizza sour milkshake IPA anytime soon.
More NEIPAS coming?
You can count on it. Like myself, Lund and Bluewood have an extreme fondness for New England Style IPA, and that is going bode well for me anyone else who is a fan. No, they are not just fads. The brewing world and the craft beer enthusiasts quickly established that. They are a unique style in that they kind of rewrote what was desirable in an IPA.
We drink them because they are new and innovative and honestly about as approachable as it gets: low bitterness, complex hop-forward flavors, and a pillow-soft mouthfeel that really stands out.
“I myself hated brewing them having not cracked the code, and Grant Lodholz really hadn’t brewed any until both of us brewed Arch City Haze during our introduction to the Saint Louis scene in 2017,” said Lund.
Thank goodness they cracked the code.
Yeast: Norweigian Origins
Malt: American 2-Row and Honey
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Seafood and Mac’s In-House Louie Burger
Sporadically Throughout the Year
Can and Tap
German Willi Becher
Ideal Serving Temp 59F
1821 Cherokee Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63118